The emotions come across strongly, though without sacrificing either Bridge's subtlety or his intellectual strength. Bridge remains an introvert, but it's still extraordinary how much of his... — BBC Music Magazine, May 2005,
5 out of 5 stars More…
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Bridge: String Quartet in G minor
II. Allegro vivo - Andante con moto - Tempo 1
III. Molto adagio - Allegro vivace
Track length8:40 Martin Roscoe (piano) Maggini Quartet
Phantasy, Piano Quartet in F sharp minor
Bridge: String Quartet No. 4
I. Allegro energico - Largamente
III. Adagio ma non troppo - Allegro con brio
The emotions come across strongly, though without sacrificing either Bridge's subtlety or his intellectual strength. Bridge remains an introvert, but it's still extraordinary how much of his complex musical personality the Maggini persuades him to reveal in these highly recommendable performances.
Bridge's glorious Second Quartet, written in 1915 and winner of that year's Cobbett Prize, is arguably his first true chamber masterwork, superbly realised on every level (the finale is a tour de force of motivic integration) and full of the most engagingly fresh invention and invigorating part-writing. The last of his four quartets (completed in 1937) represents more of a challenge, but strong emotions stir beneath its uncompromising surface.
Once again, the finale proves a fitting summation, and Bridge's technical command of the medium is absolute. Leaner and more 'classically' compact than its towering predecessor from 1926, this searching score will afford the patient listener plentiful long-term rewards.
The Brindisi Quartet's coupling has served us handsomely over the past dozen years but must now yield to this Naxos release. These are exemplary, scrupulously prepared readings from the Magginis, who play with unquenchable fire, keen intelligence and immaculate polish throughout. Joined by the admirable Martin Roscoe, they also offer a considerable bonus in the shape of the lovely Phantasy Piano Quartet of 1909-10.
With vividly realistic, beautifully balanced sound from the experienced Walton/Thomason production-team and succinct annotation by Andrew Burn, this is an unmissable disc.